The Quest for the Ultimate Burger: Stratos

by Rob Banes

Last week’s burger rave took our intrepid group to Nick Rizo’s restaurant Stratos which specializes in Greek food. Greek specialties include gyros, soulvaki, moussaka and spanakopita. When we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by a friendly hostess and seated at a marble topped table near the main bar. Our server took our drink orders and I ordered Max’s Greek Burger cooked medium rare which featured sauteed red onions and feta cheese and cost $9.99 on the menu.   This isn’t my normal choice of burgers but I was interested to taste the speciality burger of the house. About ten minutes later, the following burger was served to me:

The half pound patty was placed on top of a lightly toasted hamburger bun and and few slices of barely caramelized red onion. The patty was then topped with a generous handful of feta cheese and then topped with the buttered top bun. I was a little leery at first at the amount of feta cheese on the burger but taking my first bite I was pleasantly surprised at the earthiness of the feta cheese.

The hamburger patty appeared to be a frozen patty which had been cooked over open flame but it was fairly juicy and cooked to a nice medium temperature. The patty was seasoned lightly and worked well in each bite with the cheese. I was slightly disappointed in the amount and doneness of the sauteed onion. I would have expect slightly more caramelization on the onions but instead they were crispy with a slight amount of warmth from cooking.

The hamburger bun was a typical Mrs. Baird style bun but it had a nice crunch from being buttered and toasted and it held up well to the patty and feta cheese. Finally the fries were battered and seasoned fries and were cooked to a nice crunch but they were nothing special and were very similar tasting to Arby’s curly fries.

Overall, I thought that Stratos served a decent burger. I probably wouldn’t order it again as I enjoy the Meat Lovers Gyro much better; however if you aren’t an Gyro fan, the burger is a good choice for lunch or dinner. I will be back to Stratos to enjoy their daily drink specials and Greek specialties but for now I won’t be ordering another cheeseburger.

Ratings (1-25:)
Bun – 19, nicely toasted; held up well while eating the burger
Meat – 19, cooked well, good flavor, would have liked a non-frozen patty
Appearance – 19, nice contrast of feta cheese, sauteed onions and patty
Taste – 18, decent flavors, cooked well; feta added a different flavor to the burger
Overall – 75
Bonus Pictures of regular cheeseburger

Rob Banes is one of the city’s great food enthusiasts and burgermeisters. He counts beans by day and burgers by night at Quest for the Ultimate Burger.

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